Can you share how you determined the best combination of MAs that are working for your TF trading? Did you just backtest/forward test a lot of combinations till you got comfortable with a particular combination? Do you stick with that combination forever or till the draw down becomes unacceptable with your current trading method or do you get bored and want to try that new shiny indicator next door :-) I'm always curious how y'all determine what works for you. Seems like I can convince myself any setup can work!
You should in most cases consider the default settings suggested by the creator of these indicators and stick to the most popular like the MACD with the default settings 12,26,9. Use what the orginal authors found. There is rarely any needs for changing these settings. The problem most beginners have is that they use indicators to lead in their decisions, when they should instead use them to confirm what they see. What you should do at the beginning is learning to observe the patterns that repeat over and over on a chart and use one or two of these indicators at most to confirm WHAT YOU SEE, not use these indicators to find what is on a chart.
To use indicators correctly, what you need to do is first learn to read a chart. To do this will take time, and practice. Study some chart patterns and watch charts each day. Learn to read the trends and ranges. It takes time but gets much easier after a while. Learn to draw trendlines on your chart. When a directional movement changes direction, try to see common characteristics in the change of direction, if a pattern is not clear than maybe you just need to be patient and wait some more. When YOU see something of interest then add an indicator and try to see if it can help you to confirm your observation and not the opposite. Don't chase signals with indicators as most people try to do in the beginning. See the videos created by BigMike on the elusive of price action.
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Thank you for the insight. Makes a lot of sense. One reason I can think of changing the indicator settings from the author's original settings is if for example I am a scalper and the author is more a swing trader and I am looking for small intra-day moves only.
It's a good idea to have two settings, the original settings or more conventional and a speedy version. For example, i use the MACD that comes with Bollinger Bands with this conventional settings 12,26,9 and and a speedy version that uses 4,5,13. I put two instances of the same indicator on my chart.
If i'd be a scripter, i would merge them together by painting the dots on the conventional version according to the colors shown on the speedy version.